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  1. William I or Wilhelm I [2] ( German: Wilhelm Friedrich Ludwig; 22 March 1797 – 9 March 1888) was King of Prussia from 2 January 1861 and German Emperor from 18 January 1871 until his death in 1888. A member of the House of Hohenzollern, he was the first head of state of a united Germany.

  2. Frederick William I did much to improve Prussia economically and militarily. He replaced mandatory military service among the middle class with an annual tax, and he established schools and hospitals. The king encouraged farming, reclaimed marshes, stored grain in good times and sold it in bad times.

  3. william i, german in full wilhelm friedrich ludwig, (born march 22, 1797, berlin—died march 9, 1888, berlin), german emperor from 1871, as well as king of prussia from 1861, a sovereign whose conscientiousness and self-restraint fitted him for collaboration with stronger statesmen in raising his monarchy and the house of hohenzollern to …

  4. Frederick William I, German Friedrich Wilhelm I, (born August 14, 1688, Berlin—died May 31, 1740, Potsdam, Prussia), second Prussian king, who transformed his country from a second-rate power into the efficient and prosperous state that his son and successor, Frederick II the Great, made a major military power on the Continent.

  5. William I commanded in person in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71, received the surrender of Napoleon III at Sedan, and was proclaimed (Jan. 18, 1871) emperor of Germany in the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles (see Germany ). Although William often disagreed with Bismarck's policies, he ultimately was always persuaded by his chancellor.

  6. I. (1797-1888), king of Prussia and German emperor, was the second son of Frederick William III. of Prussia and Louise, a princess of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. He was born at Berlin on the 22nd of March 1797, and received the names of Wilhelm Friedrich Ludwig. He was a delicate child and had to be carefully nurtured.